A new study's discovered players of racing video games like Need For Speed take bigger risks, are ticketed, and crash into stationary objects more often then their non-gamer counterparts. But frequent gamers do pass driving tests in fewer attempts.
The study on gamers and driving was put together by Continental Tires, who quizzed 2,000 motorists (half gamers, half non-gamers) between the ages of 17 and 39 on their driving habits. Though gamers believe they're more skilled drivers, they admit to taking higher risks and making more claims on their insurance.
"It seems that while gamers develop useful skills and are more confident, they need to apply some balance with a sensible assessment of risk," said Continental's Tim Bailey.
Results showed 22% of gamers reported being stopped by police, as compared to 13% of non-gamers. Those who frequently play racing games also are twice as likely to make a claim for an accident with their insurance, have road rage, and run a red light.
In defense of gamers, they thought they were being chased by Cuban drug dealers and only had 12 seconds to hit the next checkpoint.
Inversely, non-gamers were twice as likely to dent their vehicle and required, on average, one more attempt to pass the British driving exam. The producers of the study then tried to tie this into drivers not understanding the consequences of their actions and quoted someone from the "Institute of Advanced Motorists" on the topic.
"I am not surprised that regular gamers find themselves making the same decisions and judgements when driving for real as they do when in the virtual world," said Peter Rodger. "The issue is that when actually driving, our actions lead to 'real' results, and mistakes have very real consequences."
Couldn't the same be said for non game-playing drivers, who have never witnessed their pride-and-joy crushed in a game with advanced crash rendering? It's a big leap for what is just a self-reported study.
Here are the full results:
COMPARISON OF THOSE WHO DO AND DON'T PLAY DRIVING COMPUTER GAMES
% stopped by police 22 13
% who use mobile when driving 19 12
% ever made a claim for an accident 30 15
% run a red light in last 12mnths 31 14
% driven wrong way down 1-way street 13 10
% hit stationary object when parking 22 13
% accidently clipped a car but kept quiet 19 11
% take risks (accelerate too quickly, overtake) 44 21
% suffer road rage 45 22
% who speed 25 13
% scare others with their driving 26 11
Attempts before passing test 2 3
No. of prangs to their vehicle in last 12months 1 2